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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  March 28, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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and then tell you the background. sole sourced extensions of contracts - car a pernicious problem that i would like to see you tackle. you have your memorandum instructions and your memorandum and implementing memorandum, and something you could cover in a supplement to those. here's what we found out. last year, the walter article in
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"the washington post" revealed that the defense logistics agency have sole sourced $82 billion extension for the in the theater food supply supreme food service. we followed up -- i was taking personally to the defense logistics agency in belfort and sent the entire day with nancy who turns the cards based on the table and she is a streak shooter. the public had not known, was not let in but i was on what their reasons were that they gave for being in this incredible situation that they had to put off their solicitations for more than a year, more than a year while sole sourcing the extension. they were faced with of the new problems of whatever, 40,000 troops and so they wanted more
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time to do the solicitation. well, that's the reason -- was the reason. that's not good enough. that's not good enough for not competing. there are two evils in the sole source extensions which you, dr. carter, denounced in your memo. number one, we need more frequent and you said we need more frequent competes. number to this isn't just sole sourced. it shows the too large an advantage and you point out in your memo the incumbents have too large of an advantage. so, do you think you can put something forward in writing at some point about these extensions? i haven't even mentioned the kbr. we've dealt with the before. that's a familiar story. please. >> first, first of all, thank you for going to kandahar. appreciate that you took the time to go there, and i believe
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that the troops are as grateful to see you and to see me. they want to see anybody from back home who is working on their problems and supporting what they are trying to accomplish. so thank you for that. with respect to sole source expansions you are right, the more frequent competes are the tenet of tradecraft acquisition of services to get back to something the chairman shays said and perhaps i didn't make it clear enough in my opening statement, acquisition of services is probably the area where we have the greatest opportunity for improvement in acquisition. we have been at the plame tanks, ships, trying to do better for a long time coming and we still have a way to go.
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but in the area of the services tradecraft that has received a lot less attention in what goes under generally under the word reform over the decades in the department. yet it has accumulated into half of our contract spent. half is on services and half is on goods. we can't ignore that $200 billion whether it is contingency services or lawn mowing at the base or medical services or professional services were depot and other systems and services for the field insistence, whatever kind of service it is, we have to improve our game. competition is one of the key ways of doing that as it is an all acquisition, and therefore you have to have competition to get to mr. tiefer's plight. and you have to compete work and continue to challenge the incumbent to deliver better value because if they don't they
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will be replaced. and you're right in the contingency circumstance, an incumbent does have an adherent advantage because you, that is we collectively, cannot afford to let the troops down. so, you -- they have the advantage of continuity, but that, notwithstanding that in the interest of better value, we need to be able to freakin' pete and change courses. for people, but not an insurmountable challenge. so, i would say i don't want to go into the specific case of the dla sole source to supreme only to say that understand that on occasion the argument can be made that it's simply too hard to change horses and that the effectiveness of the support provided that the troops will suffer and that we can't allow
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to have happen. at the same time, to get to your point, it's very reasonable to expect the managers to be able to change horses without letting the war fighter down and the interest of better value, and so this can't be an excuse for not reaching. >> i have a shortfall of the question, and thank you, dr. carter for analyzing that so well. it turns out the supreme food-service got its sole source extension and even though the dod ig has come up with a report that as much as $600 million of their costs on the question 100 million each for transport and boxes, over 400 million for fruit and vegetables and as to whether it is fair and reasonable prices, what concerns me, and what i'm going to bring this to is the comment on this excellent report by the dodig
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for the deputy assistant secretary logistics is the sums of money would be treated as, quote, nearly the potential, and of quote, as not, quote, validated, and of quote, overcharges. and i wonder what that meant. and i found out what that meant. excuse me for the rather crude translation of it, but it's just potential not validated they are saying well, my guess is a will get shoved under the rug until it is old and then forgotten. that is potential overcharges. so, here are my two questions, and i know -- >> [inaudible] >> we will go to mr. kenke. >> thank you for being with us this morning. i would like to pick up on the threat from your statement from your written statement i think is important. you made the observation as it
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relates to contract management and proper contract surveillance that have included your statement and proper position leader is the key to success and further with military leaders in place it sends a clear leadership message on the nature of the contract management. now, one of the most critical agencies for yielding the value for a dollar of execution and managing support contracts in afghanistan and iraq, the defense contract management agency it reports to you through one of your support next they provide critical contract surveillance. as you know, doctor they don't cut contracts to manage contracts in place and you've been challenged -- the department has been challenged as the onset of the war with putting the right number of management professionals in place to oversee contract in the war zone. obviously it is a difficult
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task. the history is that it was led by a three-star officer, vice admiral lord lieutenant general and i believe some time well before your tenure that position was harvested to other things now led by servile cicilline senior executive. we learned in the memo released two weeks ago that in the secretary's decision to harvest some of the general officer positions that you've taken off the table in the two star positions for the major general at the dcma so that has been unfilled for a long time. but i'd like to ask you about how that relates to sending the right signal to the acquisition work force that the work is important, and dcma is known as a combat, the of the mission to the task by combatant commanders to provide services.
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how do you square the statement that having military leaders is important to the same time taking the military bullet out of the cma neither the top or the second guy will be the military officer. >> i want to answer your specific question first, but just to be about the staffing, the general officer, flag officer staffing at the dcma, secretary gates has made it very clear that none of the moves that he's making an associate him with the efficiency initiative is coming and it's my responsibility to come to him and tell him when it's different. it's supposed to get in the way
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of the three strengthening of the acquisition work force. so, i want to make this general point. anything that you hear coming out of the efficiency initiative initially people thought this may effect the acquisition work force decision, and the secretary's commitment is a will. i only want to emphasize that in case anybody watching the hearing or hearing or reading the transcript trying to get that word out because i was worried about exactly what you are reporting which is the possibility of the misinterpretation. to start officer will at the dcma, which is importantly associated with detention c condra to support -- >> and that's not going to go away, it can't go away. >> it's on page 26 of the
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secretary's minow that was approved. >> i think that is a three-star position which hasn't been filled. >> ... deputy director dcma, 08. the devotee of the agency. it's listed as vacant on the list -- >> it goes back before my recollection and i want to see something about that, the history of that. >> it turns out we had a choice of either putting a three-star or to start. we actually had, but what we have agreed to do since the three-star there will no longer be the three-star billet which is simply the identify that they have with the two-star bill will remain, said the senior executive will be the executive director under the direction, but will remain so we will have the two general officers at the dcma. >> so what i understand, dr. carter, is you have -- i'm a little confused on the number of
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simple facts of the matter. this document says you've removed the deputy director-general officer bullet at the d.c. and a. how do we -- >> what documents are you reading? >> the secretaries march 14th minow, track initiatives. >> i will need to come back to you and reconcile that particular reference. plame pretty confident in what i told you. we are not and to change direction on the acquisition work force. >> is it your intent to even chile have the agency led by a military officer? >> i haven't made a decision on that. we have a very capable director of the agency now who is not military, so i haven't made a decision on that yet. >> i would like to see something more generally though about dcma and where you started this, which is contingency contract and is going to be a part of our contingency operations as far in the future as we can see, so it
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has to start with the military leadership and those operations need to not only recognize that contingency contract is part of the job, but also we have to give them the skills and the training and the support that allow them to discharge their responsibility. you have a couple of recommendations which touch on this in the interim report, but i would just like to say that it's part of our war plan and staffing plans, as part of our training plans, we are building contingency contract into all levels. the commanders all the way down. >> dr. carter, i want to get recommendations on the report as to establish the contingency contracting directorate of the joint chiefs of staff. our idea is right now we have half of the forces in theater, contractors roughly half the force. we spent $177 billion since 01
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on contracts and theater, contracts and grants. so our idea is less a solution the joint chiefs of staff recognized as a military mission the contingency contract in excess shouldn't be subordinated to the nj for a and run by an 06 but rather should be a separate entity of the joint staff, can you give your view on that? >> i don't want to, because it is a joint staff sort of for the admiral to decide and i will tell you i don't encounter on a daily basis of working problems in the difficulty of getting the leadership out of the joint staff contingency contracts. >> is one of the nine -- >> weidinger opinions on the organization are relevant. >> for whatever it is worth it may be improved but for whatever it's worth in my experience i don't encounter organizational problems on the joint staff and contingency contract. we have lots of problems.
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i named them, the requirements, acquisition, you know, we have plenty of problems, but i haven't encountered organizational problems. that isn't to say the judgment is that right -- >> ms. schinasi. >> thank you. and thanks for being here this morning, dr. carter. i'm going to try to get shorter questions and shorter answers may be. first one is you talk about the aerostat that i think you are rightly proud of getting into theatre quickly. my question is who's going to operate those? who will collect and analyze the information that's coming from that? will let the the contractor responsibility? >> it's a mixture of contractors and government people as it is the case with most. >> thank you. you talked about the balance between supporting the war fighter and being held accountable and i would agree.
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i guess my question is where does the balance lie. so, i want to ask a level that. most of the initiatives that you've put in place, and i think most of them we would certainly and agree with and support in pretty common sense the problems have been around a long time as you and i both know. but they have been mostly about managing contractors. my question goes to having the contractors and the requirements to begin with and being able to manage a little bit with those requirements look like, recognizing the balance to support the war fighter. you may be aware of an opinion piece that was in the "washington post" march 18th the was written by an army officer, and he goes through and talks about a lot of the services that this commission has been concerned with that really are not part of that mission essentials were fighter needs, but have to do with water that was always warm, he's talking about being in iraq and actually
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his argument is about combat pay but i think it serves our purposes as well. he's talking about the caesar salad bar, the ice cream freezer stake fridays, his room had a personal air-conditioning use unit, the access coffee shops, night parties, he designed televisions, video games, in short he says conditions were plush. my question to you is you have any formal authority to weigh in on the demand side of the equation that we are talking about, to look at what the wants and needs are there being specified by whoever it is that is specified and that? and to be able to get in and control those thoughts do you have any formal authority to do that? >> i do, and on top of that, i have a lot of informal authority and i'm actually not someone who is very respectful of the
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difference between acquisition and requirements. they belong together to set up the two bureaucracy's one of which decides we need and the other fulfills those needs which is kind of a system we have. the level of the executive i should pay attention to those they have to be together. why would assert responsibility. >> where does that authority come from? not the control of resources, the military the board to control the resources. they control the resources and the secretary defense staff advises the secretary defense on the resources and he has the last and requirements and everything else. ervin i was referring to the senate authority. >> the execute that in the direction of the security fence.
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>> so as adviser to the secretary defense that would be more formal authority. you recommend in your 23 initiatives -- >> i should say i'm also the departments acquisition executives seóul under the law have the direct authority, too. >> perhaps my next question is you recommended the program manager be set up for services in each of the military departments, and i think clearly you have heard us say the services need a lot more attention than they've gotten in the past. would that program manager be responsible for holding the cost reviews for the services? >> yes, exactly, or having those who are contracting for services conduct should cost reviews. remember that services contract in this very widely distributed -- >> i'm not really sure how that would work. that's why i'm asking. >> the lead manager for services
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we are creating in each is responsible for setting the best practices, policies, making sure that they are implemented. they do not do all of the services contract. services contracting is the impervious of the in the military services and others and we want to make sure that we touch every place that is contracting for services. contracting services is different than the weapons systems because of our people who contract for services are mostly amateurs because they are mostly doing something else as the principal responsibility in the services contract and is an ancillary duties. >> so it's that part that you just mentioned making sure policies are implemented and that's always the key with respect of the policies coming out of your office as well. it's making sure they are implemented. one of the other things you talked about this the key for the services if they are going to collaborate with
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organizations that have the dollars. so again i'm not sure what the fourth function is. if you don't control the money, you have morals patients certainly and you can write policies, but what is it that will likely force something like the should cost review in a way that diminishes some of the one i think argue excessive requirement on the non-- essential items that we are seeing within iraq and afghanistan. what is the power to do that? >> i think i would answer your question in two ways with respect we are doing with the services. the first is we will and to have -- we will require, that is we can require services, managers will require that those who are contracting for the services use these best practices, but the
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second thing i want to say is the point i was just making which is to recognize that those who are requiring services in the department of defense, many of them are trying to get something else done, and the servicers are what helps them get done their principal job. the principal of is not to acquire services. i don't want to turn them into services procurement experts. >> i would agree -- >> i want to keep them doing what they're doing, so i want to help them do the right thing, and so there's another aspect to this which is giving people the assistance. you're asking about forcing. that's a good thing to do also on occasion. but helping is important as well, and we've got to recognize that these people are trying to do other things, and so you want to help them do the right thing with respect to services contracting. let me give you an example. one of the good -- one of the
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tenants of good trade craft in the acquisition services is to do market research to know who's out there and provide you with the services. these people are busy. they can use help and market research. that's something we need be able to do centrally the will help our distributed by years of services. that is the way that we can help them get better value without turning them into the market researchers. >> my time is up but i want to say i can't agree more that acquisition should be the core function of the department and not an answer very administrative duty. >> our concern is that it is right now. dr. zakheim, and you have the floor. >> thank you very much. first of all, secretary carter, i want to add my voice to the rest of my colleagues. i think you've done a terrific job. you are sensitive to what we are concerned about. i do appreciate the fact that
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you've also taken the time to get out to the letter which is no small dealing indeed. i also want to thank the admiral and colonel lewis who rarely gets mentioned and he helped make this hearing happen and i want to thank him for it. i have a question for you along the lines of what my colleague, mr. henke raised. general nichols, and when my co-chairman, mr. shays and i were in afghanistan we saw her before she came home. but on the page 26 of the very same memo that mr. gates issued, on the list of those eliminated in fact i will quote come eliminate 102 general flag officer of physicians and is his eliminate 65 positions listed below within the next two years as incumbents complete the
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current tour and there she is. now you were just talking to ms. schinasi about implementation. what this tells me is you may have the greatest intentions of the world, you and your staff and having been there i know the frustrations. but getting this department to move come here you are testifying today mentioning general nicholas and here she is with her position been eliminated. i don't know that you can answer me now but i hope you can look into it. >> i can't answer right now, that's the mistake. that position has been renamed sali if you are looking at the jcci iowa which is with the contract in command used to be called and so the bill was seated with the organization that used to be is being eliminated. the organization that is now the
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contract in command that job is not being eliminated so this is just a clerical issue. >> if that is the case than you are short one general officer relative to -- >> we have to general officers and the centcom command now. >> my point is simply you have a list of 65 being eliminated. everybody is under the impression that jobs are going to be eliminated. when you were telling me is to be eliminated the slot and named it something else. so, either this lot is eliminated or it's not eliminated. anyway, you can have it both ways and i don't think it's your fault, but i really think you need to look into that, because somebody is playing some kind of game somewhere. it just doesn't hang together. so let me -- >> let me just say i will get back to you on that. i fink that's a mistake. >> okay. fair enough. let me ask about one of our recommendations, which is to
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create an assistant secretary for contingency contract in. i can understand you didn't want to comment about the creation of the j10 and the commander of the director of the jay cohen office that this is within osd and would be within your shot. we believe this would be tremendously helpful because we want to see the same kind of position created across the government so you can have coordination. one of the things you did not mention in your testimony was coordination with other agencies which we think is terribly important. could you comment on our recommendation and give some thoughts about how you are working with other agencies on some of these matters? >> yeah. first of all, that's incredibly important to have good and effective working relationships with other agencies particularly the state department and aid. that's particularly important right now in iraq as we manage the iraq transition coming and
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we do have very good relationships with both of those organizations, and you mentioned some names already, but the people who are leading that effort on our behalf for the two individuals whose names are already mentioned who are sitting behind me, alan s. tavis, assistant secretary for the logistics readiness, my deputy, frank kendal who's been working the iraq transition. so we have really excellent and dedicated people who know that this is for me and for secretary gates job one. they come from to parts of our department, and to be quite candid with you i'm not eager to change that. because i needed the two organizations involved in what
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we are doing. they come from those who are day to day involved in logistics and contingency contract in and they come from our contracting professionals. it goes back to what my said in my opening remarks. there are two contexts in which contingency contract in, the subject of the commission calls from my point of view as a managerial matters. one is our desire to fight war in a more responsive way, and the other is to deliver better buying power, better value to the taxpayer. i don't want to disconnect from either of those. right now i have them in bed in those two and they are connected to the house missions areas, and that, structurally in having excellent people means an
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effective connection to me. the state department and aid internally i want, and i will only say they are working effectively with us on this, particularly the iraq one which is the pressing one at the moment. >> i think that we are not exactly a line on that issue, but i appreciate your answer. in a minute or so i have left -- >> that is one of the four where i sit on the understood your intent, and the actual implementation we did have a difference on. >> and that's fine, and i think the key -- and again i commend you for it, you are focusing on implementation and the best policies in the world will lead you know where if you don't implement them. let me ask you, again, about the dcma. you were asked about the three-star replacement by a civilian. but i know the dcma asked for 69 additional slots in fiscal 11. degette then and if not, why not and what does that tell about the importance of dcma in the overall budget crunch. >> 69?
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>> yes, sir. >> this is going to be another one of these -- i'm going to give you a general answer to the question, which is dcma is being bract to southern virginia. lucky them. and on the scale of destruction that that provides to the management of dcma, the number 69 is small. that's my opening comment on that. on the specific point of the fact this may be a little on like the jcci officer where we are going to need to come back to you but let me ask shays if he wants to comment. >> actually, the -- >> it's a little awkward to have you testify -- we haven't sworn you in and we only have one microphone. >> we asked to have shays up here for this kind of question. >> let me get back to you. >> no offense to you, mr. shays. thank you, sir. we just want to focus on
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mr. carter. >> if i could get my five seconds back very quickly. you are right, 60 - small, the other hand, about 70 folks it makes a difference of contracting. there's a huge deal. the other thing is you just worried be even more. the last thing we need right now in the middle of a war as for the dcma to be disrupted by brack. >> let me say one good thing about the dcma's future, which is that the are included in the acquisition workforce exception that i now mentioned several times by the secretary. so we are giving them a lot of attention because of their importance. we are also getting dcaa and dcma aligned in terms of the the requirements that they've placed on contractors. so there is a lot going on with respect -- >> dr. carter, want to honor -- to do our best to get you out of fear so i'm going to do my best of my time. this isn't a court of law in the
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court, you know, you have to know the answer to the question before you ask the question, so some of my questions i don't know the answer is that i want your opinion. the reason what we want to do is we know that we have two very capable people, many capable people who carry out what you want, though we want to know what's in your head. so, starting -- i have to disappointments here i want to give you the chance to respond to. one we had on the quadrennial review to understand why the hell, excuse me, but why the hell is and service contracting contingency contract in mentioned. the indication of what's important for the military. and the deputy undersecretary for defense in strategy plans and forces, in the in her the answer that stuck in my mind was well, we put in what secretary gates wanted, so the instance is he didn't want that in there.
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and we are not obviously going to have him come before us. you are it. and/or statement that you opened up kind of makes me feel the same way because you focus more on things instead of services, and services that have come as you point out, the effort. so i have this concern. and what i would like to do is just have you explain to me before that you don't like in the report, and thank you for complementing the work of the report and the work of our executive to victory and so on. i appreciate that a lot. but what if we offer the salvage in the state and the u.s. agencies and you said that's one of you would not be advocating. what are the other three that you would not be advocating?
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>> the four where on understand your intent and agree with it but what will get a different way of approaching implementation are the numbers nine, 21, 24 and 25. and let me say something. he wanted to know what's in my head? >> yes. >> sounds like the omission of services in the qtr was an omission. that's what's in my head. it should have been in there. you want to know what is in my head about the services ignoring services, what's in my head as i mentioned it about five times, said it was half spent and the part of the better better buying power that i think has the greatest promise, the greatest opportunity for better value. >> would you speak to number 21, aligned past performance assessment contractor proposals?
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that's one that you're not -- by the way, we appreciate that there's only four. [laughter] but we need to know because we need to know one, whether we need to rethink it, which is, or whether we need to ask you to rethink it based on information we can provide you. and the only way that can happen is honest exchange. so if you can speak to the assessment contract proposal. >> sure. let me just sort of take it from that of for those who are listening to this. past performance is an important thing to take into account when considering awarding the contract. the person were the party that you're considering awarding a contract to do you well in the past. it makes sense to do that when you hire a contractor, somebody to mow your lawn, anything else
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you do you consider past performance and the government does also. and then the question that your recommendation hinges on which is how do we know what the past performance is, what data do we have about the past performance of the contractors and where i wholeheartedly agree with you is and saying first of all the past performance is not only relevant but it's very important criterion for the source selection and we don't have good enough to yeah, and so the principal burden to me is to learn how to get our people to collect and keep better past performance data. the point on which i would ask you to be cautious has to do with the suggestion -- well, it
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is the difficulty arises or a difficulty arises when a performance -- a contractor has no past performance as a government or dod contractor. how old do we handle that situation? and i think it's important that we not do anything that erect a barrier to entry for a contractor who hasn't contract with the government before. they will not have a past performance record. >> the primary concern is one the data isn't as good as it needs to be on folks that are already working for the government, and the second point is if they haven't had experience working for the government, then they have no past performance. >> they do but it won't be in our database. however comprehensive our database is, and i don't want to make the absence of data in our database a barrier to entry to them and related to that is the
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point that if they are a contractor who has done the kind of work for the government that we want them to do but it's been for them on u.s. government they also won't be in the non-u.s. base, but the past performance can be assessed and can be measured and his beloved. >> could you speak to the aligning past performance assessment? so, we are talking -- excuse me, i would like you to speak about the suspensions and disbarment and the recommendation 24. >> you bet. also very important topic, and i am grateful to you for raising it. you have two recommendations with respect to suspensions and debarment. let me make a couple of comments on them.
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the first is i think i would agree with you that we need to take another look at the process. i think we have the regulations and the laws are fine. we need to take a look at the process by which we implement them. so that part of your analysis underlining your recommendations 24 and 25i think is spot on and i accept it and will do. i have to cautions. the first caution is this, mr. chairman, when we get to the point of suspension, considering suspension and debarment, that is way past the point where i want to be with these things. we have to get back to the front end where prevention and detection of fraud. we need to get better that those. how do you prevent fraud? you prevent it by making it impossible to put one over on you because you are all over
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contract performance. you are doing what a contract monitor ought to do which is to make sure that the government isn't being defrauded. and that we have a system to detect fraud where it occurs, so my first caution is my dcma is principally on detection and only secondarily on the proceedings after the fraud has already occurred. >> thank you. i'm sorry to interrupt you, i'm going to go over to mr. tiefer. we are going to be five minutes and if i run out of time for myself will be a case of each of you have five minutes. >> i'm going to go with shorter questions and hopefully it shorter answers. we came back from afghanistan. the starting the disbarment there with the security group which is linked to karzai. this isn't some academic exercise. we've got to use this tool more.
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now, my first question. to finish what i asked you before. it is a scandal because the fund $600 million that is questioning about supreme foodstuff. the reports to an assistant secretary reports to you. dla is under you. will you be willing to have the matter gone over by the auditors at the dcaa? and if it is possible to make the call back of money make the clock back of the money? >> i certainly won't say no to the clawback of money. i can't tell you of the feasibility of it. and we talked briefly earlier about this particular transaction, and as i said then, i am happy to talk about the subject surrounding it in
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general, but not the specific transaction. it is one that i'm aware of and one that deserves attention. >> let me go on, my time is short. separate question, you are very, very good as to the problems with the award contract that comes up to sit strong statements twice in your competition memo. well, in the theatre, the number one, never to be and member of the biggest award for the contracts which are in the billions each of our, not by that i need afghanistan or pbr which use it is afghanistan which now have afghanistan. it has been many years since we had an acquisition strategy. this 2005 that the first set let's have an acquisition strategy to go from law cap iii which was a sole sourcing for the decade to the competition. and so my first question is because this contract in some respects matters the most in afghanistan. are you willing to start the
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acquisition strategy for the successor to this dinosaur of a blog cat for coming and i see it's a dinosaur because its problem is the one that you are talking about, dr. carter. it is an award contract. i think you're right. now the acquisition strategy needs to do better. >> i have to comment on that. first, i don't agree with you log capper grumet for is a dinosaur. it may have imperfections but it's a heck of a lot better than log cabin. >> no question. skycam of course we will change -- there will be log cap v and so forth and we will look constantly to improve including the award fee provision. it was actually less in log cap through kotite circumstances that we have seen the most effective use of the award fee
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in the last decade. >> with me ask you another question because our concerns log cap. you may be underestimating the scandal surrounding the log cap contract. today there is a scandal that we came back with having found in afghanistan involving more of bad electrical problems, like iraq but not so bad because that was kbr and diana corporation and it wasn't intentional. but nonetheless, there are thousands of electrical problems the need to take care of that they are not taking care of fast enough. and there's some questions about miss reporting work that was as complete so they could get paid, complete so they get paid but wasn't complete yet. my question to you is this. suppose on this log cap scandal it turns out a piece of it is
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kbr because as you know you were there and in the one that goes there knows this. it used to be kbr. it's been inherited with its problems. so they haven't yet looked at the clawback from kbr from leaving behind this sort of earth policy this bad work on electrical stuff in the circumstances we only have clawback. >> i'm sorry, the -- >> willing to have clawback to have the chance -- >> i'm always willing to have clawback. >> mr. clawback? henke? >> you mentioned and i understand pretty well 20,000 over time and the first 10,000 through the new hires section 852 acquisition work force money that is on track and well ahead of schedule and it's going to stay on schedule until you get the 10,000 right.
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the other half is sourcing on the case by case basis subject to the discretion of approval of the deputy secretary and your priorities on that the grouping of 10,000 in sourced 3400, the department was clear about we were not realizing the kind of savings we had hoped and you are saying going forward will be for the governmental functions you must source them. we have no choice meaning critical needs however that is defined in this situation where you can demonstrate cost savings. the second half is on a case by case basis but the top of the order there is inherent government function is that correct? >> yes, inherently governmental must be endorsed by the definition. that is what that means. it should be outside. however there's a lot that isn't inherently governmental. it's not that we couldn't do it through a contractor but it's not desirable for the government to lack that capacity.
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>> you could in the government know what you're doing. but it is inadvisable to have it contracted out. in that vein i wanted to ask your views on the issue of private security in a war zone. general petraeus and others have established the claim doctrine, counterinsurgency doctrine has every fundamental element, security, no one, securities commission and the counter insurgency. second legitimate government is the third law. can you give us some of samples of where security, providing security in a war zone is not inherently governmental? >> let's take the case of a stick the perimeter of the facility is this the kind of thing i would say that isn't inherently governmental.
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the outer perimeter of the facility. the closer you get into the perimeter the more expeditionary and the more potential or necessity for the offensive operations and integration is inherently military operations. that's the point at which you don't want to have the contractors, so there is you stop at a certain point in terms of what is appropriate for the private sector contractor. >> he would equate providing security at the department of labor in d.c. to providing security fixed point contractors with providing security at the forward operating base or war zone in an embassy? >> why would i do that?
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>> you just did. i asked for in a sample lot security that is not inherently governmental and you said static security. >> but that wasn't at the department of labour. it was -- >> i'm talking about in the war zone i'm just trying to understand your example. >> you were asking what's an example of inappropriate use of private security contracts in the theatre of war. i think if i understood -- >> security in the war zone is not inherently governmental. security in a war zone. okay, same answer i guess which would be at a static security at an elder perlmutter of a facility where the contractors are not required to participate in offensive operations and are not integrated with military operations and half yearly a static security function.
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>> so was it not exposed to a threat from the danger or combat? >> i think if they have a security function with paying for, they are exposed to some danger because that's the reason for their existence. i think the critical thing is they are not authorized to take offensive action and to participate in tripoli and the military operations. that would be inherently governmental. >> we visited the embassy in kabul and i have to another and 15 seconds, the embassy a number of times, not dod but the state obviously garnered by contractors and 30 feet away there is a blessed radius from a vehicle that went off. i would say we are exposing those people to combat situations. would you comment? >> we have to get him out, so
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ms. schinasi. specter carter in the department of defense every performance and financial information, their readiness reporting on a number of goals the first to come strategic goals are to win the nation's war, number one, and to detour conflict and promote security, number two. in both of those and in the report i don't know if i said, february 15th, 2011, in both of those coming readiness to execute missions is the key indicator and 2010 several of those were 100%. so the combatant commanders were 100% ready to execute. as you know one of the recommendations we made in our interim report was about how to measure that readiness is a the military units have an expensive legislative required reporting existing trading funding,
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recruiting and plan for remedial action. so my question is do you know if there is any contractor peace in these 100% readiness reports under the strategic goals one and two that have anything to do with contractors? we have not seen yet, so i would appreciate knowing if their something we've missed. >> this is one of the nine recommendations that i said is outside of my purview but that won't stop me from having something in my head to quote german shays. it's an important are of readiness to be able to contract in an association with a contingency. it is regarded as an element of readiness by those who measure and report readiness. it doesn't happen to be me but they do, they should come and as i said earlier, having
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contingency contract and be part of the war plan and be an essential part of leadership training, those are both indispensable in today's environment. we are simply not going to go to war without contractors. we have to build that into what we call readiness, training, leadership and we call war planning. >> you said they do and they should so let me for the record -- >> they do and we could provide more. >> i would appreciate that. my second to last question goes to the memo of march 15th 2011 that you find out what your colleague and the comptroller and and if you talk about the defense acquisition workforce development fund and you point out that the strategy, the expectation is that the military departments provide funding for the long-term sustainment of the and sourced positions comes a
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that was the three-year fund as my understanding city if we 13 budget is where you should start to see the military department put that money in. >> begin to put money in. >> i would imagine you are starting to see the fy 13 budget if you haven't already. is that money there? if it isn't their -- >> it is all there. >> is? >> ase. >> and he will protect that money? because the military department as you know are walking backwards a little bit. >> i don't think they are in any doubt about the department intend. >> so it will make sure that money is there? >> absolutely. >> thank you. that's it. >> thank you. i will try to be quick for my co-chairman. >> know, take your five minutes. >> okay. he said, secretary carter, in one of your response is that in terms of sole source it's hard
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to change horses which sounds a lot like to the to field. what is the criterion for determining how to change horses or not and how do you insure people who don't like changing courses say well, it's just too hard to change them? >> well, the changing courses metaphor has to do with balancing the value associated with three competing -- speed and this needs to be evaluated in the contingency circumstances with any possibility of interruption of service. >> and that's my point. are you leaning down guidelines for the evaluation and leading out criteria for making the choice? if you don't leave them out you know as well as i do nothing is going to happen. >> you're absolutely right. commissioner that is absolutely right and the guideline is the expectation is to recompete.
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>> and not recompeting is an exception and to have to have a reason. but i'm not going to print i don't see a reason under certain circumstances people might do it in association with the contingency. >> i would like gannett symbol of why we highlighted the importance of having somebody that focuses on the only contingency contracting. page 11 of your excellent september 14th minow, do list that there needs to be uniform taxonomy, and you list the number of things and i can see where the certain contingency activities fit in a reasonably well, transportation is a good example. private security isn't one of the six, training isn't one of the big six, but there are huge and contingencies. how do you ensure that those also receive the same high level focus when you didn't list them in your taxonomy? >> well, they are in there but in a way that isn't very satisfactory and so we need to change the taxonomy. that's 1. i would like to make
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about that. the other point i would like to make about taxonomy is you have to be careful when you look of the deep and match it up with taxonomy because most of the data is by contract and so, you have to put in a code for the entire contract but a lot of contracts of several different services and them, i don't want to lose visibility over the different kind of services, so we are still struggling with how we keep track of we are doing in the services. >> what i hear you saying is you when fact i like those to in particular when you work this? >> yes. >> okay, thank you. finally, my last question is in the memo, the follow-up says, and this goes back to the competition, again, after 40 days the contracting officer shall be advertised. well, since the memo has been issued, has anything different happened? ..
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>> we just cat categorized them and put them in ways we thought made the most sense. we appreciate the relationship we have working with you, and you need to get out of here. >> like wise. if i may once again thank you for what you're doing. it's a very important mission
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and grateful and admiring of the work you're doing. >> thank you for that. meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> as protests continue in the middle east, and as nato sets to take control of military operations in libya, find the latest from the u.n. security
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counsel, administration officials, and reactions from world leaders at the c-span video library searchable on your computer at any time. watch what you want, when you want. >> in a few moments a forum own border security and part of the coverage of the pact coverage in iowa including speakers governor of mississippi and newt gingrich.
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>> the deputy commissioner for u.s. border enand custom protections says the terrorism threat is higher on the border of canada than mexico. this panel is 50 minutes. >> i want to thank the moderator and david aguilar and the
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panelists who have taken time out of their busy schedules today to discuss this important topic today of border security. to the topic at hand, the gao reported in 2010, the u.s.-canadian 4,000 mile border only had 32 miles with an acceptable level of security. nearly 3 billion was spent last year to investigate legal activity, 6,000 arrests made, and 40 thousands pounds of illegal drugs seized. the same report determined of the 2,000 mile u.s.-mexico border, only 873 miles were under operational control and 129 miles of that distance or roughly 15% are classified as controlled. with the remaining 85% as managed, $3 billion was spent to control the border in 2010
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getting over 5,000 entries. today, we hope to learn more about current border security effectiveness and what other measures and technologies are needed to help secure our borders and protect those helping to secure them. extremely honored to offer surveillance and detection devices to the department of homeland security, cbp, and the border patrol. we look forward to learning about what more we can do to assist in these endeavors. thank you. >> sorry about my voice this morning. moderating today's discussion on behalf the national journal is james kitfield. for over two decades, he's written on national security and foreign policy issues, an award winning writer winning the gurled r. ford award for
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reporting on national defense three times. i believe that's a record, and james twice won the military's reporter and editor's award as well as the school of journalism award for dplens in reporting for the war in afghanistan and the serge in iraq. author of two books, james is a frequent guest on national television and radio programs. please welcome james and our distinguished guest, david aguilar, deputy commissioner and u.s. customs and border protection. [applause] >> that's good to me. i miss him dearly. you know, i've been covering this beat for a long time, and it's easy to, you know, as we've been watching what's unfolding in japan and in the middle east, we forget there's a very serious crisis with a country closer to us which is mexico fighting a life and death struggle for the
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future of that country with the very serious drug trafficking organizations. mexicans have lost their lives in that struggle, and we are involved with that as this country as an appetite for drugs that a fueling that war going on down in mexico. guns and money go south as well as the drugs coming north, so i think we sometimes forget really how important this subject is about securing our border. people have never quite explained to me in 20 years of what a secure border is. we have with us today a person to clear us all up on that. david aguilar is the depp tigs commission of u.s. border patrol, 31 years with the border patrol. he oversaw 2,000 agents. he's received awards for achievement, especially with
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desert tucson. i wanted you to start from 30,000 feet. what does a secure border look like? in this town, there's a lot of disagreement on that on what it looks like and entails. >> first of all, thank you for the invite to be here. it's a great opportunity. i think to clear up some of the questions that are being asked about the border, what is the secure border, what does it entail, and what is it going to take. let me just give you a little of history, before we go into too much depth on this. a secure border is the ability to have a border that's well-managed and mitigate as much of the risk we know exists on that border. just what does that mean? that means within certain areas of the border, organized areas of operation, we have a need to know exactly what is happening because of the possibility and the potential for assimilation into urbanized areas by bad
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things, bad people, and bad capabilities. now, these are individuals that are coming into this country for the purposes ever smuggling narcotics, smuggling people, smuggling bad capabilities. when we go beyond the urbanized areas of operation, we have to detect, identify, and classify the entries when we have more time. do we have an idea to identify the fact an individual crossed that geographic call line immediately? the answer to that is proabt not because -- probably not because one thing not taken into consideration in this city, in the media, and throughout the country is a following, that is secure border goes way beyond the line. it is the full continuum of that border. we have to take into consideration of points of origin, as bad people, bad capabilities, and bad things come at us during the transit, the arrival at the border, entry
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of the border, egress away from the border, and follow the destination. at each component, there are opportunities to basically mitigate the risk, so it goes way beyond the line, and that is where we struggled because too often the one thing that is used as a proxy for a secure border is a number of apprehensions of aliens and of or cottics. -- narcotics. there's one variable that needs to be taken into consideration. >> tell me about the southwest borders initiatives started in 2009. from my perspective, that was sort of a follow on to what the bush administration started in 2005 which was a major emphasis on enforcement at the border, double the agents, new technology, a lot of the technologies with the electronic sense a little bit later, and you look at the stats i was pulling up, and a lot more
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apprehensions at the border, captures of drug and money all up, and yet only 15% of the border that is fully controlled, only 44% under operational control, so talk about this dichotomy in the view between the gao and your organization is saying about the successes with the southwest border initiative. >> very good question. one of the things that's happened is we struggle to identify border security. when the gao report came out, it came out very specific to the derivative line, the geographic border we look at. we should look at that border and need to continue looking at the border as one variable within the entire continuum we have to address. having said that, let me just give you a little background. when people talk about operational control of the border, they use a terminology that the united states border patrol put together about 10-12 years ago.
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the reason that those definitions were actually generated was for the chiefs to have a means to basically identify resource requirements specific to a given area of operation. i was the chief of the border patrol to use to say that is what a needs in the area of infrastructure technology and personnel in order to bring this level of control to this area of the border. we have five levels of security that the border uses, it's control brought to the border because when an urban area requires that level to have to need to identify what's happening. we have a level of manage where we manage the area to a degree that we have an idea of what's happening, respond timely, monitored to where we have that capability, and we can also respond timely. it's all of these definitions that come together, but these are definitions specific to the line. what is not taken into
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consideration is when the gao talked about 15% under oaring'sal control -- operational control, well, the operational control we have right now is within the urban areas of operation. allow me if you will -- >> sure. >> do we need the same level of control that we have in downtown san diego, downtown douglas, and el paso, in martha? we don't. 510 miles of sector that we feel very comfortable with because of risk assessments we've done saying if we have a monitored level of operations, then we are good to go. now, we need to be able to be very responsive. we need to be dynamic, agile and flexible so if there's an uptick we detect at the beginning of the continuum i talked about, we are ready to respond. now, technology, those of you here from technology companies,
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absolutely required in places like those places in the world, like the northern border to defect, classify, identify, and resolve any entry. behind that is the intelligence, the threat and risk assessments that are critically necessary. >> okay. so when the governor of arizona says that basically the border is out of control and sues the federal government saying you're not doing your job, what was your response to that? >> well, again, there's mixed messages in this town. i'm curious of your response, strong rhetoric, but especially in arizona. >> yes. let me give you stats, data that i think speak for themselves. if we go back to 1992, all of about 3500 border patrol agents along the entire southwest border of the united states. during that year, we apprehended over 1.1 million aliens and
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800,000 pounds of narcotics. fast forward to the peak year of operations. there was 8500 border patrol agents peaking out at 1.6 apprehensions. last year, 447,000 apprehensions. 17500 united states border patrol agents, 650 miles of fence built along the entire border, infrastructure and technology unprecedented, so in addition to that, you take a look at the following stats and data again that are proven hard data. the violence assaults against our officers have fallen by about 40% compared to last year, and then look at the following numbers. from 1999 to 2009, the following cities have grown dramatically, some 33% in population.
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san diego, violent crime has fallen by 20% since 1999. tucson has fallen by 17%. el paso fell by 34%, this is violent crime. randy valley fell by 7%. valley has grown by 33% in population during that time period. el paso is now the second safest largest city in our nation. now, when you take a look -- and this is a fact, that over 3200 people were killed in gatas and there was four murders in el paso. that's a very telling story. >> absolutely. do you think you get caught up in the immigration debate? is that parts of this? you know, i recall that when the immigration reform failed in you know, five or six years ago, and
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this focus on enforcement came out, that the rhetoric kept up. this is part why we have mixed messages because you get pulled into -- i know immigration is not you, but i'm curious if part of the misconception we have is a part of that debate? >> i would say illegal immigration is, in fact, a part of our responsibility in the following sense. on any given day across our southwest border, we have the following threats and risks associated with what we do. it is bad things, bad people, narcotics, aliens, special interest country aliens, weapons, bulk currency, all of these things coming into our border. where illegal immigration comes into place is the following that what we worry about is the true threat in the mix of that chaotic situation that has caused by this elevated flow of illegal immigration. if there was some way that we
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could move on and make illegal immigration go away, that would give the 17500 border patrol agents and the police officers the opportunity to concentrate on the bad people, the weapons, narcotics, and everything else. we know that can't happen overnight, but anything we can do to mitigate that flow of illegal aliens coming into the country is going to be a multiplier for our enforcement capabilities. >> okay. a lot has been written about the alliance to combat transz national threats in arizona which was an operational or basically a task force to combine the federal, state, local resources capabilities of many agencies as well as working with the mexican government to try to get a handle on sort of more strategically address the human trafficking organizations. are there take aways from that yet? i mean, i know it's a fairly new
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operation. i've heard positive things written about it, there's denied entry to 14,000 aliens because the criminal background checks i gather, 3800 pounds of cocaine, and marijuana seized. that sounds pretty good. any lessons learned from that? >> absolutely. the biggest lesson learned i believe will be the following that when we come together on along our nation's borders from both sides of the border, mexico and the u.s., and we recognize that if we take our capabilities, our capacities, and our abilities and make them interdependent to basically focus on border security, not focus just on illegal immigration, not just on narcotics or weapons or bulk currency or special interests related to agencies, cases, or specific departments, but true interdependence sigh of the capabilities and capacities, and weave them in such a fashion
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that we have the greatest enforcement compart to bring true border security, that is what is going to bring us to success at a much higher level and much quicker rate. that is one of the things we have learned. it is as unified as an effort that basically creates the tightest mesh of capability along our southwest border. >> mexico's been cooperating with that? >> they have cooperated with us at a level i've never seen before. i did 32 years in the border patrol. if someone would have told me eight years ago we would be working with mexico like today, i would have said absolutely no way. they have taken unprecedented measures to work with us, work jointly with us, to operate in such a fashion that we bring greater security to the border. >> great. national guard, president obama deployed 1200 national guard members to sort of i guess as a
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serge to bolster security, and this summer they are scheduled to redeploy and pull away from the border, and there's been complaints by the government of arizona, and what have they accomplished and will you lose capability that you need? >> i'll say this. the national guard citizen soldiers work side by side with the border patrol and cuesments service and cdp for many, many years, 20 years and never to the level we are today. they have immediate capabilities to apply along our nation's borders. what we have used these last 1200 national guardsmen and the prior 6,000 was as a bridge to help us get to the growth of the maturation of the border patrol to get us to the maturation of the technology deployment where we are constantly buying the technology that we need, but as you know, and government and
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procurement, it takes awhile to get this on the ground. this is 5 bridge to the greater capability constantly being added literally on a daily basis. when the national guard goes away in june or if we extend them, we'll miss them because we never turn away help we can get, especially the professionals these citizen soldiers are, but with full confidence i can say with the added technology, the infrastructure that we have, with the maturation occurring within the border patrol on a daily basis, the additional agents we get this year, the mobile response teams we're building, and the continued support of the department of defense, we will continue to make the strides that we're looking to make. >> do you anticipate extending that employment or still under discussion? g it's under discussion at this point in time. >> okay. talk for a second if you would about the virtual fence, electronic fence, however you want to describe it. there were multiple stories
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written about it plagued by technology issues and cost overruns and scheduled delays, ect.. the program was canceled, and i think a lot of people got the impression it was a failure. i gather though from doing research that a lot of the technologies play into your future plans, so what have we learned about the electronic fence to change our sort of strategy going forward? >> we learned quite a bit. one thing i learned most of all, and i'm not a techy, i'm not familiar with technology. the sort ware integration is not an easy thing to do, and i see a lot of smiling faces out there. spi net that you referred to was a frustrating time period within cbp because we had an idea of what it is we wanted, what we needed, and where we needed to go with it. the best way i can describe spi-net is in the following fashion. it was incremental development
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to fit what the bodder patrol needed at the points of entry. it was difficult. there were cost overruns, time lapses, very frustrating, so when we did the analysis of alternatives of what was available to us, we went from incremental development to basically incremental application of viable and proven technology to special areas of the border. we are looking to take off the shelf technology proven and applying it. you asked a specific question. there are certain elements of spi-net that are in fact working very, very well which will become a piece of this technology application that we will be going out to private industry to basically compete for those elements of spi-net. >> how much more of the border
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do you see covering with that sort of surveillance opposed to a physical fence? >> well, there's a need to basically have the ability to have a situational awareness of the entire border. now, just what that translates to depends on the area. it depends on the threat that exists, and it depends on the assessment of the technology that is available at the time. we will constantly look for any technology that is evolving which literally minute by minute to apply in those areas, but situational awareness of the borders, south, north, and maritime are going to be a need. >> i gather those technologies work better, the towers with the infrared cameras work better in the rural parts of the border opposed to the places around the big cities where you need men on
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the ground or border agents on the ground? >> yes. the type of technology, depending on the terrain. between the ports of entry, the border patrol operates on what we qualify in the following terrain environment. it is the urban environment where the congestion is heavy and there's a need where there's secondses to identify a crossing, anomaly because of the assimilation concern. we have the rural environment which make it into a canopied area, a low brush, high brush mountains and deserts, waterways and things of that nature, and then there's remote areas of operations, grand forks, the northern border, so the type of technology we apply there has to be tailored to that area. what about challenges? for example, the triple canopied areas in the northern border, in texas, the triple canopy is hard for technology to basically see through. what is it we're going to use?
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>> did i read that the u.s. military is interested in the technologies in monitoring the border between afghanistan and pakistan? >> one of the things the military has used is the first surveillance system built and designed by the border control built for us by the military. they are now using that same type of capability in foreign theaters of operation. >> interesting. stop for a second about the northern border. it doesn't get attention, but very important. number one trading partner is up there. the gao was also fairly critical of our control of the northern border as well. what was your response to the argument that -- and also made the point that suggested if there is a terrorist infiltration, more likely coming from the northern border. what's your concern about the northern border? >> very good points as it relates to the risk relating to terrorism.
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the one thing that we have to understand is that we cannot take the same measures or the same approach to the northern border as we do with the southern border either from a gauging of controlling the border or how we approach it. one of the critical things that we have to understand, for example, is that the northern border intelligence is going to be absolutely critical, knowing what is happening north of us, the integrated liaisons that we have with the rural canadian police, cbsa, the intelligence agencies, and frankly taking the approach that both canada and mexico, the continental defense of the continent is going to be critical to defend the united states, mexico, and canada. it's a joint integrated approach to protecting the borders is what's going to be critical. >> we're getting a lot of
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cooperation from the canadians. >> absolutely. we harmonize policies to jointly working at the borders. we have ship writer where the coast guard and rc and p are riding together literally on the warways, joint patrols, motor patrols between the border patrol, between cbsa and ofo are harmonizing our policies, looking at joint infrastructures, things of this nature that will solidify the relationship and again increase the security of our borders. >> why is it it's considered the terrorist threat is likely to come from the north than the south? there's cases and the lax plot that was foiled. >> yes. >> yeah, why is it that the threat is perceived more from there? is it because the connection of european cities and canadian cities? >> yes, the ability to travel from europe or anywhere in the world into canada, of course,
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canada works closely with us on keeping that from happening, else known threats. the problem we all have is the unknown threat. those we often talk at cbp that the easiest, not that it's easy, but the easiest targeting that we do is against that which we have information. we have a name. we have information. we have dates of birth, time, travel, planes, schedules, things of that nature. that's the easy one. it is the unknown threat that we have to be very concerned about, and that is where intelligence comes into play, our targeting exam capabilities, unified efforts between governments that's absolutely necessary. >> starting to wind this up and open it to questions for the audience, so, please, whatever questions on your mind, pose them when we have a chance. the last five years there's been a rather significant increase in the resources pit on in your
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organization as well as in securing both borders. as everyone knows, we're in a budget constrained environment going forward. how concerned are you that these key initiatives we talked about will be threatened by the budget act? i think we have to look at the bottom line and wonder where can i cut, where can i show cost efficiencies and ect.. are you concerned that a lot of what we talked about will be constrained by this budget environment? >> i think the time has come for us to look inward now. we have grown dramatically over the last 6-8 years. that growth has given us a capability now to look inward and gain efficiencies by looking at how we operate. istle give an -- i'll give an example. when cbp became cbp, one the first programs we put into place was what called "pushing the borders out" of which csi
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containership was prior to protect us far away from our borders as we could. at that time the only means we had in order to start up csi, container security initiative was to place our people in foreign locations, 32 countries, 58 locations is where we had our people physically located. fast forward to today, and now we are looking at options that we take a look at doing the same type of capability, but by way of virtual connectivity so we may not have as many people or any people depending on the country we're talking about, where by virtual connectivity, we have the ability to x-ray, do nonintrusive inspections, radiology testing, and our people located here domestically will be approving the shipments. it's all of those cost-cutting efforts we're taking a look at.
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take a look at our ports of entry and more technology opposed to agents, infrastructure, we have built most of the infrastructure we feel we need. we are continuing to buy technology, and from a fiscal look, technology will be one of our highest interests as we move forward in securing our borders. >> okay. you feel like you have strong congressional support i would imagine? >> yes, congressional support has been outstanding. we have grown as much as we have because of that support. it is now up to us to show the outcome of that support. that is why we're so interesting in venues such as this. we talked about the northern border. one of the things with the border is again make sure that everybody understands, especially the congress, and they do, but we need to keep bimedding on this -- building on that, that we cannot measure the northern border how
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we measure the southern border. we cannot take miles. it is more about the continuum i talked about, the flow of people, cargo trade, and all the illegal things that come at us and using that against the actual risk that exists on the northern border. >> i think people forget too as well as stopping bad things from coming into the country, you to facilitate the good flow. >> very critical point we don't often enough talk about. this country, we import over $2 trillion worth of trade every year. we export $1.2 trillion. the president has asked that we actually quadruple exports in the next five years, so that is one of our biggest responsibilities. between the ports of entry, absolutely critical, but facilitating and expee expedited -- expedites legal trade and travel is critical for the economics of
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this country. >> opening to the audience now. hopefully you have questions to ask the commissioner directly. i see one hand. i think there's microphones, just wait one second. we'll get them to you. maybe if you could identify yourself, that be great. >> stew mag nos, national defense magazine. two quick questions. one is on the statistics of the apprehensions coinciding with the large contraction in the economy, especially in the construction industry. how much of the drop in apprehensions is just attributable to the economy? you're about to embark on the third attempt to deploy technology on the border. what lessons have you learned from the last two attempts, and what are you going to do differently because integrating software from off-the-shelf components is not gotten
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easier. >> yes. first on the economy. the important thing to note, and i wish i had my graph depiction of this because the question is asked all the time, the actual drop and decrease in activity levels relating to illegal aliens crossing started before the economies started going down. we shouldn't fool ourselves it's all enforcement, but the border has been reenforced to a degree what when the -- that when the economy comes back, and it will, it will be very difficult for the people to cross illegally. having said that, and i'm going into detail here. >> that's fine. >> this country has what i refer to as baseline flows, baseline draws for illegal aliens, and unfortunately, tragically, and embarrassingly for narcotics. what is going to happen when that draw continues in the
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economy, and they hit us at the borders again with a reenforced hardened border? we belief what's going to happen is there's efforts around the gulf coast and the pacific. we are already working with the coast guard to address those issues, but the decrease actually started and the safety increase of the border started before the economy started going down, and we fully expect we will be able o maintain the quality of life we have now on the southern border and actually increase it as we progressively apply more technology and agencies mature and so forth. on the issue of technology, you stated that this is the third effort. actually, after 33 years in the service, i think it's been one continuous effort. we were carrying the starlight scopes, and the first to put them out that weighed about 20
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pounds, so we started using technology way back then and we consistently tried to get better at it. the difference today is that, again, i think what we're doing now is something that we haven't done is taken that commercial off-the-shelf proven technology along with the funding capabilities that we have which we've never had before, and apply them in a very tailored fashion to the specific areas of the border, so that is the main difference. one, we have the money. two, the technology is evolving every day, and we are tailoring it to very specific areas of the border at a time when the majority of the border has been hardened and reenforced by the personnel and infrastructure. >> i see two more questions. starting here and then to the lady with a black hat. >> good morning, commissioner. i'm alexander, director force security dhs officer inspector general. couple questions.
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spi-net, virtual fence. you mentioned there's several pieces that are working well. could you elaborate? we left with tucson-1 -- >> right. >> what specific parts are working well? >> okay. al exapedder, and i know you know this well because you have done inspections on them. i said the elements of spi-net are working well. according to our agents and what i've seen, tucson-1 covering 28 miles and the other covering 30 miles, approximately 54 miles between them gives the way of doppler radar, die-night cameras, and tagging to do the following to detect, to identify, to classify, and to basically give the agency opportunity to make the fastest and the safest approach to
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that. it is critically important. i've been out there in the middle of the night when a stand alone sensor goes off went we have no way of knowing if it was a deer or a group of individuals backpacking narcotics into the country. it is not until we make the approach and physically encounter the people until we know. with the tucson 1, the elements i'm talking about we not only make the detection, but we can identify, classify, and figure out the best approach to that incursion. from an officer safety perspective, from a logistics perspective of applying technology and responding -- for example, if tucson-1 picks up a group of individuals backpacking, and we can tell if they are carrying long arms, do we call out an officer by himself as we would have in the past to find out or respond with
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a mobile response team compromised of special operations in a black hack supported by the uav to give the officers the best chance of safety and interdiction. that is what we have with those elements, tremendous capability. >> thank you. had a question over here. >> i had one more question. >> quickly please. >> second quick question. this past december, a border patrol agent was killed in the line of duty in encountering ak-47s, and the men refused to disarm. we responded with bean bag arms. what's your response to nonlethal weapons and our rules of engagement? have they kept up with the current violence on the border? >> the team's going into any operation make a determination amongst the team as to how they
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are going to prepare. they will have a concept of operations, they will have on operational plan way ahead of time that makes a determination as to how they will approach and how they will continue -- confront the situation they're going to engage in. in this situation, the team made a termination they would carry with them nonor less lethal armorments as well as lethal weaponry. they made that decision that the confrontation occurred and none of us know why, we were not there, the rowns of investigation is still ongoing. the rounds use the by our people were bean bags, but this was a call made on site at the time by one of our most highly trained teams and operators that we have along with deadly force that was also engaged in at the time.
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>> okay, we had a question here. >> good morning, i'm sammy widing. my question to you, sir, and thank you for your service, is this. the fact that you tried to stop this at the border and people get through, especially into urban areas, could you tell us where you stand on this so-called sanctuary city piece that moved into urban areas that allow people to infiltrate many of the areas of infrastructure by getting jobs illegally and so forth, especially here in washington, d.c., in many of our government buildings through government contractors as well as in my hometown of houston which i really fear something
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awful will happen there because the chemical industry and the fact that these people are coming in across that southern border and the fact that we don't know who they are, what they are, and what the purpose is especially here in dc with ms-13 which is one of the most vicious gangs, i call it a mafia, in this country, and how do you see this focusing, especially with in sanctuary city mentality, and as always, we have to keep the families together, fine, but why not stop the benefits to them? >> sanctuary cities, want to walk on that one? [laughter] i say that because that is a tough question, and that question should really not come to any one individual, any one entity, any one agency. i think that's a question for us
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as americans. there has to be a balance. as a law enforcement official responsible for the boarder, i have to tell you i have serious concerns with that that one part of our country considers it a breach of our laws to illegally cross the border, but yet a city will say, no, i am sanctuary, so as a law enforcement officer responsible for the border, i have concerns for that, but there's also an understanding as a law enforcement officer that the police officers that work, the chief of police that work in the major cities have the concern about the residents and the community that they serve, that there has to be the ability for the police department to communicate with the community regardless of what it is compromised. in order to give the greatest benefit of safety. i don't think that's a question specific for cbp, for the border patrol, or the chief of police. this is a situation where our
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country has to answer that. now, we have to take into consideration that the illegal breaches that are occurring at our borders, aliens, narcotics, and everything else is because we have, as a country, are asking for it. we are drawing this in. that, again, is a question and an answer that must be answered by our country. >> well, it's a debate we're certainly going to be having. a question over here, next, i think. >> i'm penny star with the news. thank you for speaking out on these issues. i wanted to ask and reiterate how many border miles along the southwest border or i'm sorry, the entire border with u.s.-mexico do you consider absolutely secure? is it possible to seal the entire 2,000 mile border, and is
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that a goal of the obama administration? >> let me clarify my answer with the following. the figures i'm going to give you relate to, again, that line, that geographic border that the border patrol measures. of that on the southern border, there's 1100 miles that we consider under control. that leaves about 800-900 miles in the remappedder. within 800 miles is the sector that we do not need a high-level of control as we would need in these urban areas, so having said that, it is 1100 miles of operational control as gaminged specific to that geographic line, but does that mean that the remainder is out of control? the answer to that is a definitive no. now, can you -- you asked a specific question about can we
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seal the border? seal is a definitive term that says 100%. even technology does not go to 100%. no, we can't and we shouldn't because of the trade, the commerce, the relationships, the requirements that we have as neighboring countries, but should we mitigate the risk to the highest degree possible? absolutely, and that is what we're working towards specific to areas to the border. about southern, northern, and the other borders also. >> okay. i saw a question over here. >> hello, chief poncho, a former dhs colleague. you mentioned earlier that essentially there was about a 37% -- had about 37% apprehensions compared to the high point of four or five years ago, and this was not necessarily due to a drop in the
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economic conditions in the united states. with that as background, my question to you and perhaps it's stated statisticked i'm stating, but the individuals come to the united states illegally, if that's an appropriate term, flu in legally and then overstayed. how would those change, and what are the activities that are put in place to perhaps achieve similar operational successes on that dimension of securing our borders. >> good to see you. that's a great question, because you're absolutely right. i would clarify the following that the number you're referring to about flying into the country do not come in illegally. they come in legally, and then become illegally by overstaying or falling out of the status by which they came into the country. that is a tremendous problem because that is something that we see that relates to the unknown that i talked about earlier where students or
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business people may be coming in under a visa that allows them to come in for the duration status as students, but they decide not to leave. what do they bring with them? what intents and desires do they bring with them? that is a very, very real danger that we face. i don't have the figures right now over the last 10 years as to what overstage we have, but you figure 50% of the total illegal population in the nation coming in by the way that you described is correct. it is correct. they come in legally, overstay, become illegal, and they become a part of that illegal alien population. we are addressing the ones coming in illegally between the ports, but that is a higher concern that we have now. . i c. e. is working hard to identify those, and we're working on identifying to stay up with that transformation of
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legal to illegal and then take the appropriate actions. >> we have time for one more. there's a question over there, man with the white shirt, and we're going to wrap it up. >> i'm from safe foundation. i would like to play the devil's advocate. we have a statue of liberty that says give us your hungry, depressed, everything to come to this country, and yet we are paranoid almost and stop talking about sealing the border. my point is if the native indians had sealed the border, most of us would not have been here. i guess this is becoming a paranoia in this country by certain sections, and therefore, i really commend those american citizens who are creating these sanctuary cities, and i'm glad you responded appropriately. >> thank you.
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not sure there's a question here. >> but it's the issue of getting into the politics of immigration reform. >> exactly. >> you always get caught up in that. >> it's a strong paranoia, and franklin one that needs to remade is against the threats of the country, the threats of our way of life, the threats that are real that we're trying to keep out of this country. now, in that comes the following. it's what i talked about earlier is the threat in the mix. i think america is still a very, and i hesitate because now i'm speaking as an american citizen that i am. i think america is a very welcoming country, so those looking to come into the country legally by way of the proper processes, procedures, we are a very giving country, and we should continue to be that, but it is coming into the country illegally and posing a greater harm by that threat in the mix
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that we're looking at is what we're concerned about, especially those of us responsible for america's borders. >> great. we have to end it there. show your appreciation to our guest. [applause] we have a really expert panel to follow here. please stick with us, and we'll start that just in a few minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> this forum hosted by the national journal continued with a decision of ways to improve security. this is an hour. >> okay, the expert panel. i appreciate you being here and i'll do a quick introduction and we'll ask questions. to my right is michael shifter,
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president of inter-american dialogue. he's a long time adjunct professor at georgetown school of foreign service and my go-to guy for everything latin america. jayson ahern is the chief operating officer of cbp. edward alden, author of the closing of the american border, terrorism, immigration, and security since 9/11. sitting to his right is jack riley, a consultant to virtually every agency from the pentagon, state department, and joint chiefs. last is admiral thad allen who needs no introduction, america's
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man of the moment in two of the largest crisis in recent years, hurricane katrina, and the deepwater horizon oil spill. i'm going to start with you, that'd, and thad may have to leave early, but we really appreciate him being here. we're still talking about these, you know, trying to stop these really powerful drug cartels at our board r, and -- border, and having spent time with you at the borders, i realize this is sort of the goal line stand right there, and that's not the place really you need best to address, but if you could talk about how to address the defense in depth a little bit because it seems like an impossible mission to me to do this all right at the board r. >> sure. first go back to what david aguilar was talking about. there's a series of an events in the country that need to be achieved. we need to interrupt the supply chain of trouble and moving in on the borders to deal with it
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between ports of entry. at that point it's almost consequence management at that point. with the cartels and so forth, we need to be concerned that mexico's ability to manage their entire border, with us, belize, and the maritime borders. for a number of decades now, we dealt with drug flows that come from maritime means, and that threat evolved over the years, and i think when we look at border security and management, we have to look at the entire threat and entire chain of where things are developed and how they move through, and david aguilar got it right. we need to be concerned in my view with the southern border of mexico and maritime because that's where the drugs come into mexico, and then it's hard to detect them at the border. >> tell us a second about how whenever we come up with a
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counter to one of their sort of preferred routes, that their adaptability, it's a cat and mouse game. it's not something you have 100% solution to. >> i think the a roots of the drug trafficking routes if you will go back to the late 60s and early 70s where we had significant enforcement on the southwest border in the nixon administration. what we saw were large quantities, marijuana opened and carried on shrimp boats up through the pass, and that's when we got involved in drag introdiction with the coast guard. that threat changed, closed the choke point, they changed to planes, aircraft, transit through the baa ham mas, and that was dealt with, and then shifted to fast boats, faster than our vessels, we had helicopters, then moved to
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submersibles, and now there's fully submersible vehicles found in columbia. this is a huge monitoring problem to sort that out and come up with an interdiction end game to take those things out of service. it's a continuing wide adaptation in technology to get the drugs up. >> jack, going to you for a second. a lot was discussed about operational control and what's on the border, and gao says not enough. the commissioner made a good art that they have significant control over the places where they need it most on the border. can you talk a little bit aboutth definition of operational control, what it means, and how valid of a measurement it is for what we want to accomplish on the border? >> sure. it's a squishy concept in general in part because the easiest thing to do is measure the numerator, the piece on the top, what you interdict, the number of people you capture. the problem is it's always a
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ratio. the number of people you capture versus the number of people who actually came over the border, and one of the things that we've consistently failed to do particularly since 9/11 is engage in developing the measures and the methods so that we can make decisions about where to put the extra dollar when we get it from congress. it's easy enough to do to figure that ratio and keep track of it, but there just hasn't been a will to invest and a illegal immigration to putting -- a will to pitting the systems in place to do it. it's something frankly that needs to be done. >> talk for a second if you will about how you rate mexico's -- the fight going on on its side of the border. we talk about our side of the border. you know, we had the initiative trying to help them in this war against their cartels. are they -- seems like they
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fought to a stalemate, but tell me what your sense of it is. >> the situation in mexico is pretty severe. they have a problem of a very fractured law enforcement and security services of a number of somewhere around 17,000 somewhere to the number of local law enforcement agencies that we have in the united states, they have tremendous command and control problems, lack of infrastructure for dealing with it. basically, they need help with institutional reforms and building a capacity for managing society and respect for law and order. ..
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>> there is always this tension in this relationship where they don't like the big brother from the north telling them what to do and how to do it and we wonder what we share with them in intelligence can be contained. is mexico come to a moment of truth where it is willing to accept that kind of help or we can help them, we can share intelligence with them or because we trust them? are beginning to a better place in that relationship? >> some of the others might be willing or able to comment on that better. from my perspective the work we did on mexican and u.s. policy issues in 2009, my answer in 2009 would have been yes. there've been some set backs since then, and i'm frankly not
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sure where the readiness and the willingness to collaborate more deeply stance on stands on the mexican side today. >> edward, he wrote the book on border security after 9/11. you know it gets to my opening comment, is that i've heard talk about order security for 25 years now, and i'm not exactly sure still what it means in terms of what it looks like. what does success look like at the border? can you give me an idea of what your thoughts are? >> gets a little question of what are we trying to do with this initiative, which helps a stand back and say look this is something the united states has never tried to achieve in its history which is a level of control over borders be they a borders or land borders were reacts to know who is coming into the country, we know how long they have stayed and we know what their legal status is and we know when they go. that is a tremendous historic undertaking and we are somewhere in the early stages of it but
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part of the problem is we haven't defined endgame at all. where do we want to get? some of this is the measurement problem that jack talked about. we do have better measures, performance measures that help congress decide where's the where is the money best spent a they also think there needs to be common sense. the language gets very troubling. we use military language that implies that all these people coming to the united states pose a threat of some sort. some of them clearly do. the vast majority are people coming to work. when this discussion was in the context of immigration reform we said you offer to go ways for those people to come in through guestworker or temporary programs, you get right a lot of the flow of many can focus on the genuine threats but that conversation has fallen off the table. so i worry that we are much much too focused on the hard measures of enforcement. what we want is a level of security in our border region. alan bersin the commission was talking about this a couple of weeks ago. hugo back to the '90s, people were scared on the san diego
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side of the border because of the numbers going through. now you still have 70,000 apprehensions there. but it is largely under control. that is the goal but it is going to take a mixture of enforcement measures and legal reform to get us there and i fear that the conversation has deviated very far away from that and purely into the kind of hard measures of what we can do at the line of the border. there is only so much you can do. >> we have had a republican president who had immigration reform and failed and a democratic president who wants to do it but doesn't think it will work. do you ever get something like a successively managed border if you don't have some immigration reform? >> i don't think so because i think unless you deal with the demand side in some way, people are always going to make an end run. there is always some other way to get into the united states. you can't feel an open democratic country like the
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united states and not really at some fundamental way damage what we are as a country. i heard commissioner aguilar say we are still open and welcoming. that is sort of true. i've been dealing with a guy from india who went through living there for years and went back home and had to wait 18 months for the security background check to allow him to come back to the united states and by that time he lost his job. he got another job and is five months into another security check. you look at the canadian border. the south round travel of canadians coming to shop. all those northern tier businesses. they don't do that anymore because it it is a pain to get across the border so we are not as open and welcoming a country as we used to be and we need to think about that in the context of this debate in that and that is where the broader reform comes and. >> okay. jayson you have been on the frontline for quite a long time looking at your resume.
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talks to me a second about what mexico is doing on its side of the border to what we are doing because clearly it seems like there is probably not enough. >> absolutely. when you take a look at what has been done by present cover on certainly it has been a heroic effort and a lot of loss of life. i think the number is closer to 35,000 have been killed in mexico come more than anyplace on the globe. so there has been a tremendous effort to attack these criminal organizations. however, there needs to be more conference a plan for mexico to secure its own borders as that mentioned not just as far as controlling the borders from central america coming into mexico but also the maritime borders and the things they can do on their northern border. for instance we have been in discussion with mexico before a retired in europe two months ago about establishing an equivalent to the united states order control what they can actually have a persistent level of control south of the border to the united states which would be another way it would have to be defeated for individuals that would be trying to either
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introduce drugs or criminal aliens coming into the country or walking or shooting agents along the border. that is not enabled to be accomplished. those types of things need to be increase. mexico customs. certainly an organization like mexico customs is in need of modernization art taking steps to try to do that however they need complete transformation of their organizational culture to include controlling the border into the united states coming for mexico. in the last two years in in the starter before a retired secretary napolitano directed constant operations all on the border going into mexico for drug money and for weapons going into mexico. i would submit that would not need to be done at the level is currently doing if mexico had a better apparatus to control the inbound traffic coming into mexico as well and we could redirect some of those assets back to others protecting our own borders. there has been significant issues on the policy front and also on the merida initiative plan. there has been a lot of different types of technology in different types of capacity
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building training but i submitted hasn't been part of the conference -- conference will plan that will have a lasting effect. >> will that involve this sort of change in mindset and culture for the mexican government as far as thinking about we have to watch our border with the north? to them as seems like an issue of their people trying to get into our country but is it a threat of money and guns coming now? do think they're capable of that mindset change? >> i think first the guns of the money aren't all coming south. there a lot of weapons coming in through the maritime and also a lot of things are still coming norris from central america left over from some of the old civil wars that have been down there well. but in comparison back to colombia in the 80's and early '90s and i spent over 33 years of lawnmowers force meant in the capacity building training and he did see a change over time with a good welcome u.s. authorities on a much more
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aggressive and stronger presence to eradicate some of this criminal activity. that is not actually been something it seems mexico has an appetite for right now. >> they may have their hands full. >> we talk about the mexican border and it is a pretty negative discussion about all the violence and the drug runners and the illegal immigrants and the threat from terrorists. we had this visit from calderon a week ago where the tension and that meeting with president obama was palpable. when mexico looks at this issue, how does the border issue look to them? describe it in its effects on the u.s. mexican strategic relationship. >> there is clearly a lot of frustration because the mexicans have made a lot of gains and we have made a lot of gains. and so, the president held a run has to -- political pressures and president obama has of bombastic and 10 with a lot of
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political pressure on the side. is not going to get easier in both countries have elections next year, both mexico and the united states so the politics of this doesn't help. and i think mexicans are frustrated that more hasn't been done on the u.s. side. not only in terms of the flow of guns and money south, which is a problem, but also the immigration question, which seems to be kind of frozen off the agenda. and if you go to mexico and talk to mexicans all of the violence dominates the headlines, the merida initiative but the immigration question is very crucial. there are 10% of the population of the united states is of mexican descent. is a disproportionate share of the racial populations so we are talking about immigration in general terms, the mexicans in mexico, not just immigration. so there's a lot of sensitivity and i think it a technical
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professional level there has been enormous progress. on on the mexican side there has been a lot more cooperation than in the past but the politics are not good and it is not looked at in a broader perspective, not only dealing with drugs and the violence but dealing with the economy and the demographics which are absolutely critical elements of the bilateral relationship. >> when i look at mexico what i worry that any mention columbia. i think it is a a worrisome parallel to columbia in the 1990s. the moment of truth whether called around decided to take on these cartels we had horrific level of violence which jayson talked about. is there concern in that presidential election there will be at a candidates it says we need an accommodation with these. they're just too strong. is that a danger do you think? >> i think it is gone too far for that to happen frankly. i think the violence has spread, intensified and i don't think that would be politically viabl.
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it might have been a year or so ago but i think it is beyond that point so i think there needs to be, think there is enough public pressure to continue this but to try to do it in a broader more comprehensive way, perhaps focusing more on the institutional reform, justice reform. we really have to be integrated. if you listen to the colombian official, by the way this lot of colombians in mexico and central america. they are providing a lot of support and i think it is very important but what they are communicating is conning government officials. [inaudible] >> know, government officials. how to look at the other side to do with this problem more effectively and applied the colombian experience mexico. there a lot of difference differences but some lessons to be learned and one of the things is to say first of all the
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mexicans should believe this is going to be over in a year or so. the colombians took a long time in mexico is going to take a long time. that to stick with it but also have a broader approach than the mexicans have. not simply the law enforcement at the institutional reform process, justice system that the colombians did do this will. >> thad, back to you. you were there at the creation of the department of homeland security. clearly the post-9/11 idea was that we need to think more holistic way about this and we need to be able to leverage multi-capabilities and reduce the competition between agencies anyone who saw the stories back in the day can recall. give us an update where do you think we are and what remains to be accomplished? >> i think there has been tremendous progress but there remains a lot of work to be done. j. and i worked for a number of years am trying to integrate across the agencies within dhs to achieve that type of integration with david aguilar
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talked about earlier in the prototype being done in arizona right now. until the can get an integrated group -- approach and working to border issues from the inside out me outside in and achieve that level integration we still have work to do. progress remains a work that we need to significantly focus on. for folks to me with the joint interagency south to task is in its ordinary successful and they will be together not only joint capabilities but interagency folks. you have fbi, i.c.e. cbp coast guard. i think we know that model works. trying to fit that on the southwest border around el paso is a work in progress and i think we'll agree that you need to do it. this country tend to operate from the authority that accrued lesson we have operations or saddam hill. is fragmented to try to achieve that. there's a lot harder than it appears to be but i think
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there's a mandate and we have to do it. >> i totally agree that it is the gold center as you say. the magic that seems to work so well there? i mean which gets to how have you explored? >> in my view it as is the handoff from the protection muttering classification will call we would call in game. wanted two things occur. you have cell phone that is an interdiction that occurs on the high seas under u.s. law where we are exercising a bilateral agreement with colombia it allows us to exercise law enforcement authority into sometimes the territorial sea. levy or not it gets harder and you talk about co-chief county across from the border and douglas because you are dealing with multiple federal agencies but a port of entry or between ports of entry way of the state police or sheriff or local law-enforcement how that is corrugated and david nader really significant point. we have to get beyond case management that a cruise to the authorities and jurisdiction of what agency we have to work with
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as a team. >> jack, what do you make of the merida initiative and where we are in that? do you sense it is having significant successes? it is certainly costing significant dollars. what is your sense of it? been it is a step in the right direction but i think the theme you have heard from the panel and from the questions in the audience, the missing piece of the equation at this point is immigration reform and immigration management is inextricably in my opinion tied to border management and border control. and an effective deterrent against illegal immigration would go a long way toward helping reduce traffic at the border and i think one of the recent comments that was made, we are headed into national elections both here in mexico in 2012. i think immigration reform is
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probably going to be tabled until after those elections and as a result we are probably in a holding pattern. merida is hoping but it can't work by itself. i guess the other piece to focus specifically on merida. extends to focus on law enforcement assets and law enforcement issues. there's a there is a tremendous problem in mexico on all of the things that happened after an arrest is made. you need court rule of law. you need reasons that will hold. those are all important pieces and areas deserving of our attention and assistance. >> lets see, we will come back to. we don't talk as much about the canadian border but obviously candidates are canada's our number one trading partner. is the cooperation and the understanding they are, what it needs to be?
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is the status quo acceptable there? or do we still have a way to go on the northern border cooperation as well? >> i think there continues to be -- there has been a lot of progress. my remarks are in that context that it continues to be significant misunderstandings on both side of the border. from the american side there's a tendency to be a candidate through the lens of the foiled lax bomber. in 1999 u.s. immigration laws weren't terribly tight either. all 19 hijackers came here on legalese so there were a lot of holes in the united states in a lot of holes in canada and we somehow imagine they haven't made any progress in the lax 10 years and we have. they have made a tremendous amount of progress. there is a lot of cooperation between the two governments to try to keep people out of the north american space that we are concerned about. from the canadian side, their problem continues to be mistress having to do with information sharing with the united states. they are quite reluctant to cooperate on a real-time basis
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with the united states. say for instance ensuring information on people coming into canada and as the u.s. government know things about those individuals that the canadian government not to know. it goes back in part to the aurora case where the government shared misinformation with the united states and the united states sent him back to syria to be tortured. there's a legacy of that but i think the recent initiative that present obama and prime minster harper signed as a positive indication of this and for the canadians to rate the notion of perimeter security, that is political dynamite in the canadian context. so for the canadian government to have been willing to go out on limb and say we are in favor of a perimeter security system that keeps stress outside north american context represents a lot of progress. what they wanted to pay back is they want greater facilitation at the border. they want to make it easier for the truckers to come across the united states in the u.s. is not clear the resources we are
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willing to put into that side of the equation. >> i guess the economy being such a tough issue right now and the holes whole fact with the trade relation. >> the board detection made it easier because you saw a decline in volume associated with the recession in there for some of the traffic overload has made it difficult for ports of entry. actually there has been some effort to use the law created by the recession to build up of the stretcher and improve some of the cooperation to maintain better facilitation as the economy recover so that is bennett did at the window of opportunity. the same on the mexican border. one hopes that it is given the agencies on both sides as chance to be on top of the higher traffic flows which willcome as the economy does begin to recover. >> jayson heard about this operation in arizona with the federal, state and locals working with mexico. apparently some really good things happened with that. does that surprise you? number one is working as well as
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it is it is a member two it took this long to actually launch? it sounds like it makes perfect sense but you know the history of these kind of joint operations. >> the v-8 ctt operation actually something that was in the planning for about six months before it was implemented several months ago and i think it does make perfect sense and is that talked about having a unified commander for the area to oversee the asset is good and a strong step forward. is not perfect yet and will never get to the point of being the giant of model because of all the different moving parts you have in the united states and also dealing across the border with the state of sonora and also the federal authorities within mexico. but clearly that is the way to go ahead and integrate your resources and also one of the things i've think is widely known is thereabouts cdp folks that are deployed there. currently there's about ready five, dirty 800 that are actually the border patrol sector of yuma and tucson in the field operations in the air and
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marine components. that is another 1200 or so. input and the amount of people and detailed, they have had a heavy infusion of resources to attack what is known now it has been known for a while is the highest risk quarter. in taking this quarter approach is a way to dismantle what is happening in is criminal organizations that moving across the border. and also to be able to get to the transportation routes in the united states and that is where idea and investigative authorities play key role going forward. however think it is poured in as we go back to the question and continue to get post about operational control the border and what does it take? i want to illustrate what i believe is one of the most secure pieces of the border and that is over in san diego. he talks about alan bersin making a comment about how san diego is more secure today than it was several years ago. i spent two different tours in southern california so i have seen it both ways. san diego as you go to the border between fantasy grow -- make you have what i believe is
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one of the most secure areas of the border. you have double fence between the two layers of fence. there is a tactical road for border patrol to have a persistent troll. on one side of the fence on the u.s. side there is also constantine a wire. you also have surveillance cameras and lighting, so you have what i believe is the best area of operational control on the surface. as every action causes a reaction here's what is happening. you also have the proliferation of tunnels happening in san diego that are now underneath that secure area of surface patrolled. and also the proliferation onto the water is david talked about. we are now seeing some of the boats that are now coming across that are some of the pleasure boats or even three or four weeks ago there were two scuba divers who took them into u.s. waters and landed on the shores of la jolla and so this is what is happening. this is one of the things i think it's real hard for this country to get its arms around.
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no one person in this room and no one person's country is the same point of view to how to go ahead and deal with some of these issues. i would submit the border, the physical border itself is one key piece, critical piece of the entire strategy but not the sole piece. have in the defense and what is going on in mexico and further south are key points but also what is going to be the receptiveness of society to have a greater local control of people who are here in illegal or some of the drug issues. as long as there is supply and as long as there is a demand there will continue to be and i have seen this again for over 30 years, different routes that will try to get the product to market whether it is human assets or illegal contraband. >> you have this dichotomy where you have the successful operation in arizona and at the same time you have arizona governor suing the federal government saying you are abandoning the border. do you feel the commissioners being a little bit in getting caught up in what is essentially a political argument on
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immigration? >> i've never seen politics get into that at all. [laughter] of course the colors are. it colors their reality and the media covers the reality of what is going on as well depending on which channel you watch 24 hours a day. is how society formed their opinions. and then you can skip to the troubling point of what america thinks is going on in what is reality in and what remains to be done. >> and mike, when you talk about really having difficult fencing, how provocative is that to the mexican government? they had a big argument about the fence and they pointed out the only places that had fence is fences like that where the berlin wall and then got cnn's real. is a provocative on my focus on much on this had the sort of border security structures? >> i think it is a little sensitive, not only from mexico but the rest of latin america. i think this is the order
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concern. president obama just came back from a five-day visit to the region and even though mexico and central america and the caribbean is most relevant for their -- immigration is something that comes up in south america as well. chile and brazil, they talk about this and the fence is sort of a stumbled to stay out. what i think it is if great concern to a lot of latin americans is that the foreign-policy implications of that are rarely taken into account in the debates and discussions we have. another birds that may be the best for the u.s. interest to protect our borders but at least we need to understand how this is viewed by our southern neighbors and that if we want cooperation with latin americans on a lot of other issues, this is not going to help because i think that message is something that is interpreted as key.
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>> okay, i think so to me. i'm going to open up for questions from the audience. i have you -- i hope you have questions for the panel appear. if you would identify yourself and if you have a question for specific panelist, go ahead and point to them are named them or if you want anyone on the panel to address a question. >> okay, i have one right here. the microphone please. >> rosella martinez. there was an allusion made at the beginning of the panel to the lack of reform its metrics that have been used in assessing border security. i would like to hear from everybody in the panel what do you think have been the biggest obstacles to instituting and managing performance metrics and how can the agency changed that moving forward? >> i believe i mentioned that in my remarks, and i'm not sure what the impediments or the barrier is, but we actually brand, just published a paper on this topic.
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there were four different metrics that we identified as deserving additional investigation and to provide real concrete guidance to the policy may curse. two of them that i recall. one is capture recapture methodology, where you make sure you are positively identify somebody the first time they are captured coming over the border. if they are recaptured at a later date, you can use the gap between the time if they first capture in their second to help inform you about what they perceive to be the barriers of the deterrents coming back over the border. you can all also use the physical location of the capture and the geographic distance that they traveled to provide additional information. another is to scientifically sample segments of the border and then put in very clear, comprehensive measurements activity so that you can, with
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no uncertainty, get a very clear picture of how many people and of what types for what purpose are coming over different segments of the border. those are just two examples. i think the basic barrier is the focus tends to be on the operational mission and there is no lot of focus on the benefits of having better measurements in better understanding of how we are performing. i think it is really up to congress to ask these questions and require these kinds of measurements be put in place. >> let me offer also just to correct a bit here. there are a lot of performance measures that are in place and one of the key performance metrics people are calling for and certainly the agency would love to be able to have it as well to gauge their overall performance is what is gaining entry in the united states? would it be drugs or illegal aliens coming across the border?
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then you can measure across across her apprehensions to give you a success rate. on the recidivism rate, every individual who is apprehended at the border is brought into the policy center in in enrolled by a magically. anytime she will see within hours because when you kiss and second time and bring the backend for processing you will see the recidivism. that happens over and over and over again and they are criminal charges that go with that as well. so those metrics are in place but i think the largest metrics is what is the universe? the universe, how do we define that? we heard pontius point of bringing up that a lot of people still come in by air. they represent a significant portion of the overall a illegal alien population. do you calculate that in your measure of order security versus what the apprehension is? i think we need to get into a disciplined dialogue of what it is we want to measure and what are whether the key metrics by which we want to gauge the
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success of the country. >> very quickly it is a big public relations problem and a lack of good performance measures. i watched secretary napolitano struggle to explain last year there were four to 50,000 which is the lowest we have seen since the 70s in the third third but we had 10 years ago and this is a good news stories that we have twice as many agents and we are apprehending a third fewer total numbers as we were a decade ago. this is positive but it is a very hard thing to get across to the public debate that a declining number represents progress. we need better measures. >> carrie shirlington from -- i have a question for ed bott allen. how do we take what we have learned about maritime domain awareness and the success we have had to better protect our east and west coast lines? >> i think the best way to discuss this is to give you more of a holistic answer. i think from a strategic
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standpoint we have to overmatches and i am talking in military terms to bring it to the security side. bandwidth and computation. the cartels can manage that likely do. the real answer in my view is integrating the way we have been able to do battle in iraq and afghanistan to bring all the sensors, unstructured data sense with the right appliances and then put these things down in the hands of the operators that need the information to q. and addiction assets. this is maritime or land. i think the issue is to be able to create that kind of synthesis south has been a bad lab in my view where they are operating in the lower threat environment that we have seen anwr. they started to use technology it will be successful with ied attacks in baghdad. it has is to has to do with you taking that computation of bandwidth over match in breaking down the bears. one of the things we do is think about a separation of those data sets outside the intelligence community so we are not dealing with the statutory problems we
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have got in using information about persons and go into a law law enforcement internet, trusted internet-based two bring that information together and take the same type of technology we are using in the south and start building that capability in el paso person bring that to the maritime domain. i think, irrespective of maritime lander air, that is the way we are going with this problem. >> my question has nothing to do with architecture or engineering. it seems as if the sobro conversation and from what i'm hearing, is that the demand portion of this equation is a fundamental aspect of our key problem and that is whether it is for workers that are coming in illegally or for drugs. do any of the panels know of any
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efforts that are linking that torsion of the equation to the side of controlling the borders or is that something that is a missing piece in this overall dialog? >> the a big focus in congress right now with lamar smith the republican who heads the house judiciary committee the big focuses on workforce innovation so the argument there is if you make it very difficult for people without proper papers to get hired for jobs, but that will reduce the demand side. there has been a big focus in congress and in dhs the expansion of the e-verify program has been a central initiative. i would still argue that is another element of enforcement. and important ones, no question. we know after 30 years it was supposed to be a key part of the 1986 grand bargain on immigration reform but again if you look historically, there is a demand for something like 300,
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400, 500,000 low skilled workers from mexico every year that we have got no mechanism that allows those workers to come over freely. they used to come over in an unauthorized capacity and work for while i go back home. we stop it stopped at the mehgan fortifying the border so i still think you need to move beyond enforcement actually have legal systems that say there is a demand for these people to come to work. we have got to create legal systems that they make it possible that to happen. you are never going to do this were with enforcement of the border. >> let me add to that also, to go back to what commissioner aguilar talked about. you can take that flow away from the borders. you can find some way to document what is the nature in the country for various people in the service industry. that need to provide a service or country needs and we don't have the work horse are people willing to perform some of those tasks in the united states. you can take that away from the border. that's the key issue in focus in
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on the criminal aspects whether it be the recidivist trying to come back into the country or the terror organizations are the drug organizations. however another and at that economic factor also is supply-side. talk about the demand briefly here but also a plus supply-side needs to be dealt with as well. we saw an awful lot of eradication programs over the year and i would submit in the last few years in mexico there has been kind of a timeout taken for the eradication program so when you take a look at what that does, the marijuana, the heroin in the methamphetamine. what that does is that fuels the criminal organizations as well. that provides an awful lot of overhead for these criminal cartels to run their organizations. that is where they get an awful lot of their finances to run these organizations. not so much the cocaine. that is where the profit comes from an significant profit that the running of the organization comes from the drugs overgrown and manufactured and prepared for shipping south of the border. those aspects may be taken on as
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well. this is a real competition and it has many moving parts that again we focus on in forms like this one piece and not in its entirety. i think our congress struggles with the same issues as well. sphere which is mention also that in every comprehensive reform a reform guestworker that allows easy access for guest workers to come back in the meatpacking and that has been an element of every comprehensive immigration reform. everyone understands that is the key issue. also the debate on workplace revocation that i think is worth thinking about is if you start doing that he get the business community in this country engaged and they are engaged in a way that will add to the debate. i noticed that illegal aliens in enforcement but the business community in this country relies on this workforce and as soon as you start cutting that workforce off they will engage in debate with the argument being you can have a more sort of well-rounded
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debate on comprehensive immigration reform. let's see, we have a question over here. >> one question. we are talking about the balance of the border. i believe president calderon has surmounted a campaign since 06. what are we doing in this country to mitigate 40 billion-dollar drug demand which is the root cause of the lot of drug cartels being so successful? what i'm saying is, we are taking a tactical law-enforcement approach. what kind of strategy should be put in place to mitigate some of those demands?
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>> i will comment and i have to leave. during my four years is common and i served as chairman of the interdiction committee in the capacity of that assignment director for bill kerlikowske for drug control policy on both the demand and supply-side in in the fact of the matter is there is more emphasis on the demand side in the last 46 years in this country than any time i can remember since we started passing this legislation back in 1989. there've been some really interesting things about the purveyors of drug use of teenagers. the incidents in emergency rooms we have gone so far as to figure away frantically by testing the sewer water in the cities for the presence up traces of cocaine to get an estimate and understanding about the use rates and how pervasive those are in our large city so i will tell you there is a significant amount of effort being devoted to that. at at may not be as public as some of the south border and i
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certainly hope you are here in your personal capacity. [laughter] >> anyone else? >> i think certainly --. >> at the level of discourse i think if you look at the drug -- [applause] the drug strategy overall has been certainly an emphasis on demand. i'm not sure if you look at the resources devoted whether there is a correspondence and backing up some of those promises. i'm not sure that is increased. the other point i would make is mexico -- it is a mistake to think this was driven by the united states. mexico was treated as a broad middle class. the economy is growing now, and consumption of drugs is increasing, so i think the model
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of the u.s. demand consumption in mexico, the supplies coming through perhaps -- not the best. not only in mexico but brazil for example is second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world today. so it is a much more complicated picture and drug consumption patterns then we have seen before. >> having done the story on the war on drugs so times, during the crack-cocaine epidemic there was a hugely intense effort to try to get the demand side. if he remembers barry mccaffrey was the drug czar and it was an intense effort advertising campaigns etc.. there were some significant successes. i think is admiral allen said,
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the teenage use is way down from what was in the 80's certainly in the '90s as well but i think it is a given that most efforts i've talked it is a given there will be significant advance in this country and we are such a big country that will fuel while fuel a lot of bad activities from suppliers who are willing to fill that demand. i don't know if any experts think we will be able to stop that demand orbit is something that is stoppable. i think there's a certain level people think is just inherent in our culture. any other questions? yes, over here. >> terry shirlington. at the question for commissioner ahern. can you talk about how the nature of the threat has changed over the years? >> that is a great question. when you take a look at the 30 years -- over the 30 years i've watched this, clearly you see is
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admiral allen talks about some of a low flying aircraft and the mothership solis on the late 70s and early '80s in south florida to shifting into the world's commercial containers. a lot of initiatives ration of their now you see the drug trafficking move over to mexico into the whole central american chain. still issues and some of the other ports and opportunities of entry that i think the game-changer was when you saw the events of 9/11 that showed as far as the attack on the united states the deliberate attack to introduce that people to create significant harm here. and the country was accepting of a certain amount of illegal aliens coming across the border that zero tolerance came crashing down on all of us when we have the events of 9/11. that was the game-changer many take a look at the initiative of the department of homeland security or any of these
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agencies have responsibility for protecting the border or national security efforts the number one mission is making sure that bad people don't come here to do harm. that is not necessarily the criminal aliens or illegal aliens are the drugs. that is an act of terror. that is responsible -- responsibilities protect the homeland for the introduction of the terrace, significant weapon of mass attraction are implemented terror crossing the borders. what you focus on that you need to make sure you take away some of his other clutter if you will so it to take the drug album and put it into a more controllable form would be great. to be able to have a better flow of illegal activity, cross the border, documented worker program, would allow the law enforcement people in the department of homeland security to focus on border security as part of the overall national security scheme would give it i believe a better opportunity to provide the highest level security of security for this country wreck and icing we are a free and open society that will
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never lock down its borders but you can focus on the specific areas. >> i would actually like to reinforce what jay said. early in terms of how we use a language when we talk about the threat and we are talking about the things that are a genuine threat, the 9/11 hijackers, high-level security threats, serious criminals who also could reasonably call the threat. that than lots of other stuff we should -- not really what we think of as a threat. people trying to come over to work is a problem, and issuing a policy challenge for the united states that it is not a threat in that sense and i think it is incumbent upon all of us to be a little more careful with how we use language. one other point on the terrorism threat. it was quite reasonable in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to see what cbp as absolutely critical on the counterterrorism front. it continues to be critical but if you look at the trends in a look at people like bruce
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hoffman, half of the individuals involved in terrorist plots in the united states are -- americans are they become permanent citizens. so the notion that the border is the only line of defense now against terrorism is just wrong. is part of we use the word continuum a lot. they continuum has gotten bigger so again we need to be responsible in how we use the language not to imagine that the border is some kind of drpk line that can protect us from all these bad things. i think we need to talk about the issues more carefully than we do. >> i would just say when i was doing stories in the '90s about colombia, you know the cartels threaten the existence of the state in colombia, threatened to make colombia failed state. remember talking to dea involved in making some operation that brought this organizations down and i and mine naïveté said wow you have one.
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he said no, we ought one. what we have done is taken down these two states threatening organizations that someone else will fill the vacuum. we just didn't know who it was then. guess what? we now know who this. is the drug trafficking organizations in mexico that are now in my view threatening the viability of a reasonable state to our border of mexico. they are fighting a life and death struggle so we have moved the problem closer but to me, wherever management is in this thing, the thread if you have an organization that can threaten the viability of the state, then that is an existential threat and you have got to do with that. you can deal with a certain level of drugs across the border in money flowing back if you create really criminal organizations with that kind of power you have got a huge problem. >> in just a flashback to a few months ago in november of last year where secretary clinton after some of the recent issue continued to escalate in mexico didn't call it a state of
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insurgency but it may begin to border on what we are seeing in colombia years ago and it may be on the verge of becoming an insurgency. you saw quick response from the government of mexico basically saying oh know, there's no insurgency here which also translates into there will be no further american law enforcement for military presence is there wasn't some of the other locations before making a clear statement of sovereignty. we are fine thank you. >> mike is right that they don't give up. there is an appeasement party that comes about it because that happen in colombia. they didn't win but the drug cartels got into the politics, brought in a politicians where there platform which was basically find an accommodation for these guys. that have -- if that happens in mexico we are in deep trouble. >> i'm going to have to wrap it up there. thank you very much for attending. thank you to my panel. [applause] >> thank you to the panelists. thank you again.
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>> thank you. i really appreciate the panel, all the education in the words that were spoken. i think these forms are great and appreciate national journal for putting this on. this is really about education and i heard earlier that elimination of misconceptions that are out there and more education that we can provide the better. more education i get every single day. just the other day was reported in "the new york times" that on the southwest border alone in the last 17 months that 875 arrests were made of people from nations with links to terrorism. that has been a huge problem and i already heard today how the mission has adapted from illegal
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immigration to drugs, the war on drugs, to now protecting our borders from terrorism. this is a huge change that i've seen over the last decade myself early in the last decade been privileged to work and see a lot of video of the coast guard, airborne troops, watching over customs and border patrol agents and it is amazing what these folks do for us and engagements that they perform on a daily basis, putting themselves in harm's way to protect our country from drugs, the war on drugs and now terrorism. i think being in a quorum in this and not thank every customs agent -- [applause] thank you very much.
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[inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪
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in a few moments part of our coverage of the conservative runcible's pac conference including speeches by mississippi governor haley barbour, former house speaker
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newt gingrich and representative michele bachmann. also from the conference a panel on the economy and jobs.
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the conservative pencils bulls pac conference in des moines iowa this weekend heard from several potential republican presidential candidates including mississippi governor
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haley barbour. he spoke for about 15 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you all very much.i i am glad to be here.e let me just say to all of you, we are on a fast heart clock here. steve told me had 15 minutes and 48 seconds for this. i told them i thought i ought to get longer. have lager. he told me i was lucky he was letting me do this without an interpreter. [laughter] >> i heard them cheering for you. >> thank you for being here. i want to talk to you because it is a short. bank of time. for 2012, it is -- i want to
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talk to you because it is a short period of time. for 2012, it is crucial that we elect a new president. the only way is for us to make sure that, like the 2010 campaign, the 2012 campaign is focused on policy. focus on the policies of this administration, which are bad for the economy, bad for job creation, and focus on what the right policies would be. the american people agree with us on policy. they showed in the 2010 election the most massive repudiation of any president's policies in the history of the united states for good reason. let me just say, that is the one thing we want to be focused on. i will describe it this way.
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some of you are old enough to remember ed sullivan. maybe a couple of you. they say one time and sullivan had the most popular television show in the country -- ed sullivan had the most popular television show in the country. one night, he had conrad hilton on his show. he was the bill gates of the day. and sullivan turned to him as he walked out and say, if you could only tell the american people one thing, what would it be? conrad hilton said, but the shower curtain inside the back up? th tub. [laughter] there is a man who knew what was important to him. what is important to us is to have a new president january 20 of 2013. [applause] we cannot lose focus on that. that is why i say this election
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needs to be about policy. when president obama was elected, the american people thought they were going to focus laser light on the economy, on growing the economy and job creation. the policies of this administration, in every case, has made it harder to create jobs and less likely to have economic growth. the president has been calling for the largest tax increase in american history. tax increases fall primarily on employers. he fought for it for the whole two years. his first two years, we had haiti over the economy the largest health -- largest we had a hang over the pot be the largest tax increase in american history -- had any over the economy the largest tax increase in american history. no republican senator would vote
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for this huge tax increase. he threw in the towel and voted with the republicans. our friends in the news media, the ones in the back talking -- [applause] our friends in the news media said this heralded a move to the center, like bill clinton's triangulation, like obama had learned his lesson. it reminded me of president reagan, my old boss. he is to say the first place in the democratic playbook was to take up the metal and run around the left end. -- the middle and run around the left end. in the state of the union address, he still said he wanted that tax increase and that he wod


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